After reading the recent blog post “10 Types of Women Christian Men Shouldn’t Marry”*, my husband, Trent, exclaimed, “UGH! I’ve made a HUGE MISTAKE! You’re like every one of those things, almost, all in one! How did I go so wrong?”….Before dissolving into laughter and adding that every millennial woman he knows shares at least half of these “fatal” qualities.
I wish I could laugh so easily.
I can’t laugh because this blog post reminded me of every time my former brand of religion shamed me for being an independent woman, a driven woman, a self-embodied woman, oh wait…
I didn’t become any of those things until I left that brand of Christianity, because teachings like this pastor’s blog post shamed me for being a woman, period, let alone a strong one.
I thought long and hard before publishing this piece, because responding to foolishness isn’t really my style. But I decided that since teachings like this are what gave me Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome in the first place, I have a duty to Speak. Up.
Here then are my thoughts on the “10 Types of Women Christian Men Shouldn’t Marry”* (Quotes from the original post are italicized.)
1. The Unbeliever “What then, is a believer? A Christian essentially is someone who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ. What then, is the gospel? [followed by points 1-4 of the author’s theology]”
If a Christian man should only marry a woman who believes exactly what he believes, Stepford-wives style, does she come with a remote control, too? Just in case he changes his mind about theology and needs to reprogram her?
In a paraphrase of Anne Lamott: We can safely assume a husband has created a wife in his own image when she loves/hates everything/one he does.
2. The Child-Hater [later changed to The Childbirth Avoider] “If you are adverse towards having children, then there’s a simple remedy for that: single-hood. However, if God has called you to marriage, then He actually expects children.”
Forget partnership, sharing the burdens and joys of life, and being each other’s everything— it’s marriage is futile if the woman fails to use her uterus.
Which makes me wonder… should my wedding vows have been: “I take thee, Reba’s uterus, as my lawfully wedded child-bearer. To have and to hold my offspring from this day forward. Amen.”
3. The Older Woman “God intentionally (with good reason!) created Adam before Eve in the First Marriage. Scripture informs us that God created man first chronologically for the sake of authority!”
Oh, this brings up my favorite vomit-inducing word: Submit. Submit, submit, submit.
An older woman might have more life experience, independence and (gasp!) a mind of her own, and that would be a Major Problem because she wouldn’t so easily submit.
(Weren’t old Testament Bible dudes bedding young girls all the time and calling them wives all –if they were lucky–or concubines–if they weren’t)?
Yes, a husband’s age is a great indicator of marital virtue.
4. The Feminist “There’s no room within Christendom for the ‘Christian feminist’.”
Ummm… Let’s have a little talk about feminism, shall we?
Feminism means that that state of my genitals should not dictate the state of my life, period. Which part of feminism is bad exactly? The part that allows women to own property instead of being property? The part about voting rights and equal pay? The part about not having to put up with misogyny and harassment in the workplace?
Ladies: According to author Caitlin Moran in her book How To Be A Woman: “Here is the quick way of working out if you’re a feminist. Put your hand in your pants. a) Do you have a vagina? And b) Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist*.”
*I know and love many male Christian feminists as well. Including my husband, my fellow Pathoes progressive Christian male bloggers, and, well, JESUS.
5. The Sexy Dresser [later changed to The Immodest Dresser] “The way that a woman is willing to expose herself says much about her heart:”
Is it just me, or is the argument frighteningly, eerily similar to the, “She was asking for it,” rape rationale?
6. The Loud Mouth [later changed to The Gossiper/Slanderer] “Gossip and slander are not good things to have in your marriage. Desperate housewives make for desperate husbands.”
Gossip is icky and should be avoided by everyone…including men. (I have personally knowsome men in my office to gossip more than middle-schoolers.) But the whole “Loud Mouth” title indicates wives should be silent except to say, “What would you like for dinner?” “Can I fetch your slippers, darling?” and “Yes, dear.”
7. The Divorcee “…unless the first marriage ended due to a partner’s sexual infidelity, a second marriage is to be considered invalid and adulterous.”
What about all the beautiful, strong, courageous women who have no other choice but to leave their marriages? They aren’t allowed to find a good, kind life partner who will honor them and support them and help them raise their babies?
(By this logic, the most prudent option is to find a woman to tempt her lying/cheating/stealing into adultery! Fidelity problem solved! Then the divorcee can repent and find a guy who doesn’t beat her/ her children/gamble or drink their life savings away/commit felonies/abuse her family mentally, emotionally or spiritually…and God will approve!)
8. The Wander-Luster “The constant desire for new experiences, new places, new faces, and new forms of entertainment only serves to clearly manifest the fact that the woman has not found her rest in God.”
Apparently finding “rest in the Lord” means finding rest at home: preferably in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant (use that uterus!), baking bread. (But not any newfangled recipes containing raisins, mind you, because that would mean too much excitement.)
9. The Career Woman [Later changed to the Career-first woman] “It’s okay for a woman to be a doctor, attorney, or any other professional…The woman ought to be willing (and even desirous–to some extent) to give up her job for the sake of raising her kids in the Lord.”
Go ahead and spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition to become an expert in your field of medicine or law, just so long as when you pop out a baby, you use those surgeon skills to fix boo-boos on the playground and that law degree to argue at the PTA.
10. The Devotion-less Woman “Is the woman having a regular, daily devotional time with her God? If she doesn’t love the Lord now, chances are, she won’t love the Lord after marriage.”
Of course the clearest indication of whether a woman has a relationship with “her God” (which, as inferred by the rest of this piece, actually means “her husband’s version of God) is the quantity and quality of her daily devotional time! The more devotionals on her bedside table the better.
Perhaps we ladies ought to keep excel spreadsheets of minutes we spend in prayer and Bible reading, so we can provide prospective suitors/ husbands with irrefutable proof of just how much we love God.
I know I do.
* I’m not linking to the original post. If you want to read it, you’re going to have to Google it.
IMPORTANT PS: My girl Kimberly Knight at Coming Out Christian adds her thoughts: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2015/02/a-christian-woman-worthy-of-marriage/